Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

The JSE closed weaker on Friday as strong gains among gold and platinum stocks were not enough to offset weaker financial and general retailer shares.

Gold stocks rose in safe-haven trade after the terrorist attack in Barcelona, in which at least 14 people were killed.

The all share closed 0.20% lower at 55,304.20 points and the blue-chip top 40 0.28%. Financials shed 0.49%, general retailers 0.35%, resources 0.23%, property 0.15%, and industrials 0.13%. The gold index rose 3.88% and platinum 2.44%.

The all share ended the volatile week 0.27% higher and is 9.18% higher for the year, despite closing in negative territory for three days in the week as the market struggled to find direction.

Sasol dropped 2.12% to R390.57 on the day, ending the week 4.74% lower.

It was a bad day for British American Tobacco, as the global tobacco giant closed 2.05% lower at R806.15. It ended the week 4.95% lower, the worst weekly performance so far this year.

Standard Bank ended the day flat at R162.01 but was up 0.32% for the week after releasing interim results that indicated a 12% rise in headline earnings to R12.1bn.

Among gold stocks, Harmony rocketed 8.75% to R24.99, Gold Fields 5.08% to R57.25 and AngloGold Ashanti 3.31% to R134.67.

Old Mutual closed 1.17% lower at R34.68 on the day, but was 0.70% higher for the week.

The Dow was 0.29% lower in early evening trade. European markets were softer, with the FTSE 100 losing 0.93%, the CAC 40 0.87% and the DAX 0.45%.

The rand was at R13.2025 to the dollar from R13.3124 on a weaker performance from the dollar, which lost ground against the euro and the yen. Analysts said the terrorist attacks in Spain, as well as the tension between the US and North Korea, added to the risk-off sentiment.

The R186 was bid at 8.525% from 8.495%.

US treasuries were firmer as the market priced in expected further fall-out from the beleaguered administration of President Donald Trump, and as central banks continued to be wary of further interest-rate increases in a subdued inflation environment.

The top-40 Alsi futures index was 0.14% lower at 48‚980 points. The number of contracts traded was 19,248 from Thursday’s 20‚277.

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